Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Exotic Roasted Lamb Neck & Bean Stew

Adapted from Occasionally Edible and a few other sites via Google Search

Printable Recipe

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Stovetop time: 30-40 minutes
Roasting Time: 1 hour

Serves 4

2lb/905g lamb neck bones (preferably with some meat on them)

2 cans (19oz/540ml) Northern or Romano or Navy beans, drained & rinsed. Note: Occasionally Edible recipe actually calls for 2 cups dried Northern beans, soaked overnight & drained)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3-4 large cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can (28oz/796ml) plum tomatoes, drained & chopped - or, as I do, mushed between your fingers
½ - ¾ tsp red chili pepper flakes
½ cup dried mixed wild mushrooms soaked in ½ cup or so boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the mushrooms, reserving the cooking liquid to add to the stew.
2 cups water or broth plus the reserved cooking liquid
Salt & pepper
1-2 tbsp Aleppo Seven Spice blend (from Epices de Cru) or whatever your favorite mild & rich scented spice blend)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
2-3 large handfuls of leafy greens, coarsely chopped (Swiss Chard, beet greens, or spinach) (Optional)
2-3 grilled sausages (this time I used turkey fennel), grilled and sliced 1" thick
1 tbsp fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley or cilantro/coriander, finely chopped for garnish

1. In an oven proof Dutch oven over medium high heat, melt the butter and brown the lamb bones on all sides (about 5-8 minutes). Add the garlic cloves and chopped onions and continue to cook for 3 minutes or so (the onions should begin to brown). Stir occasionally.

2. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, chili pepper flakes, 1 tbsp Aleppo spice blend, mushrooms, drained beans, water or broth and mushroom cooking liquid. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Taste for seasoning. I usually add a little more Aleppo at this point. Add the red bell peppers and toss.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F/170°C and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup in case of spills).

4. Transfer the covered Dutch oven to the lined baking sheet and roast for about one hour, Check after 40 minutes to see if beans are tender and there’s enough liquid – not soupy, but not dry either.

5. For the last 10 minutes: coarsely chop leafy greens like beet tops, spinach, or Swiss Chard and add to the stew. Taste for seasoning.

I like to serve this over couscous to sop up the fantastic sauce.

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